Continuing their discussion about CBD use from the last show (8/12/19), Dr. J and Dr. Bunny delve deeper into the subject CBD and move to the subject of addiction.
Dr. J begins the show by announcing that Denver, Colorado has just legalized ‘magic mushrooms’. He says that you can now buy and consume many phycadelics in Colorado.
Dr. Bunny asks, “Where will it end?”
Dr. J mentions that 1 – 2% of the population have an ‘addictive personality’ and will be addicted to SOMETHING in their life. It could be food, cigarettes, shoes, sports or any other temporary ‘feel good’ object that fills a ‘need’ at the moment.
So, what is an addiction?
Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences. Addiction may involve the use of substances such as alcohol, inhalants, opioids, cocaine, nicotine, and others, or behaviors such as gambling.
There is scientific evidence that the addictive behaviors share key neurobiological features: They intensely involve brain pathways of reward and reinforcement, affecting motivation, which involve the neurotransmitter dopamine.
And, in keeping with other highly motivated states, they lead to the pruning of synapses in the prefrontal cortex, home of the brain’s highest functions, so that attention is highly focused on cues related to the target substance or activity.
Good news: It is important to know that the brain changes are reversible after the substance use or behavior is discontinued.
Complex conditions that affect reward, reinforcement, motivation, and memory systems of the brain, substance use and gambling disorders are characterized by impaired control over usage; social impairment, involving disruption of everyday activities and relationships; and may involve craving.
Continuing use is typically harmful to relationships and work or school obligations.
Because addiction affects the brain’s executive functions, centered in the prefrontal cortex, individuals who develop an addiction may not be aware that their behavior is causing problems for themselves and others.
Over time, the pursuit of the pleasurable effects of the substance or behavior may dominate an individual’s activities.
Although all addictions have the capacity to induce a sense of hopelessness and feelings of failure, as well as shame and guilt, research documents that recovery is the rule rather than the exception, and that there are many routes to recovery. Individuals can achieve improved physical, psychological, and social functioning on their own—so-called natural recovery.